A European choice
Milan has committed to becoming an increasingly sustainable, bicycle-friendly city. Like other major European cities, it has invested in the promotion and development of its cycling infrastructure for leisure and as an alternative to automobile transport.
Bicycle use is an excellent way to reduce traffic and to make the city more enjoyable for its inhabitants. Cycling is the best form of urban transport: it is more pleasant, reduces stress, saves time and money, and is good for your health and the environment.
In theory, Milan is an ideal city for getting around by bicycle: it is flat, not too large, and enjoys a mild climate. In spite of this, it suffers from a surplus of automobiles: 55 per 100 inhabitants, versus 30 in London and 26 in Paris.
On the other hand, in Milan only 4 inhabitants out of 100 cycle to work or school on a daily basis, versus 50 in Copenhagen, 26 in Amsterdam, and 14 in Munich. The Municipality of Milan is committed to reversing this trend and to making bicycles an everyday means of transport for everyone, and eventually a passion. The administration itself needs to make the road network more suitable for cyclists, drivers need to be more aware of cyclists while driving and parking, and cyclists themselves need to pay attention to the surrounding traffic and pedestrians.
There is a need to promote bicycle culture and awareness. The administration intends to carry out a multi-pronged effort to encourage change:
- Building adequate cycling infrastructure: bicycle paths, lanes, and overpasses; traffic reduction; new traffic regulations;
- Building facilities for safe bicycle parking, from parking stations to bicycle racks located throughout the city;
- Providing dedicated services for promoting and safeguarding bicycles;
- Facilitating access to the city from the greater metropolitan area within the framework of the MiBici strategic provincial plan;
- Promoting bicycle tourism.
All local authorities relevant to the bicycle issue have been engaged in the debate on howto assist the city in this process.
Our success in numbers
Data on bike sharing and surveys carried out by FIAB Ciclobby already show steady annual growth in bicycle use, especially in the city centre and along some major thoroughfares. In Corso Buenos Aires, for example, about 15% of traffic is by bicycle (Ciclobby 2012).
The increase in bicycle travel is confirmed by the annual survey of cyclists: FIAB Ciclobby's 2012 survey saw a 24% increase in cyclists compared to their first survey in 2003. The peak in bicycle traffic during the morning and evening rush hours show that bicycles are increasingly used by Milan's citizens to commute to and from work and
school. The graph shows the amount of bicycle traffic in Milan's city centre. Surveys were carried out every September from 2002 to 2012 and show an increasing number of cyclists ciclobby